Hey folks, just a few words to sort of check in with everyone.
I've been in Europe for the past few weeks, and have made a move from San Francisco back to the East Bay right before I left. So I just came home to an apartment full of boxes and, needless to say, no Tivo or computer hooked up yet. The cable guy comes today, so I should be back in business soon.
My sister and her fiancee, Pete, were kind enough to record all of the Daily Shows and Presidential debates for me while I was away, so those should all be up soon. Bill O'Reilly was on the Daily Show last week, and that will be up next week (it will be on the next DVD they send me, along with tonight's debate).
I'm also taking the plunge and learning how to make .mov files from a DVD source (read: Lisa enters the present -- I know many of you have been trying to help me get there for over a year :-)
So I just wanted to let you know where the hell I've been -- many of you have expressed interest, and perhaps a little concern. Things are well. More than well. I've just been busy doing this european distribution thing for my latest project, Wide Hive Records.
Now, back to the issues at hand...
Last night, on Frontline (PBS), I watched a two hour documentary on John Kerry and George Bush. Damn. I wish I had been recording it. Perhaps one of you have it and can send it to me so I can put it up for everyone. Perhaps it will re-air this weekend or something and I'll have a chance to put it up...but anyway it was an incredible piece.
The show parallelled the lives of John Kerry and George W. Bush from their time at Yale through to the present. Kerry goes to Vietnam, in good faith, even though he knows it's bullshit. He does a great job, but feels horrible about the War and his part in it, and comes back to the states full of information that nobody wants to hear. George W. is basically a networking guy that knows how to take visitors out on the town for a good time, while pumping their heads full of whatever ideas are on his agenda at the time. Admittedly, a useful and valuable skill -- in any industry.
He did get special treatment by several members of our government and Texas National Guard folks by being let into the guard and not having to go to Vietnam. I really wouldn't have a problem with this, to be honest (anyone in their right mind at the time was trying to get out of Nam, and rightly so), HOWEVER, he was still talking like Nam was the right thing to do the whole time, and that pisses me off. If Nam was the right thing to do, he should have suited up and gone over there himself.
His actions strongly parallel the situation now, where we've got Hawks in our government saying Iraq is the right thing to do, while none of their children or people they care about are actually over their fighting it. Plus, these hawks aren't treating the soldiers they've sent over there properly -- not paying them enough, giving them enough supplies, taking care of their families, or even giving them proper medical care when they get back. (See my category Against The War, Support Our Troops for specifics on this.) I don't think there's a single person on either side of this war that would agree with this behavior. It's just plain wrong in the truest sense of the word.
Meanwhile, back to last nights documentary. In the late 60's and early 70's, Kerry is touring the country and talking to Congress and going on talk shows and doing whatever he can to put an end to the war through education and information and public awareness of the situation. He talks about things like "Free Fire Zones" (where soldiers are allowed to shoot anything in the area -- including civilians, women and children, entire villages, you name it) -- and how these zones, by definition, violate the Geneva convention.
This situation also hits home right now with the Iraq war, in that many of the acts that our soldiers are being ordered to carry out can be likened to these Free Fire Zones. We're fencing villages in, leveling them entirely, torturing prisoners, and imposing marshall law where death is the legal punishment for any crime the government sees fit to apply it to. We are the terrorists of Iraq right now, and our boys and girls want no part of it, and they are also literally trapped over there -- in many cases serving against their will, even though their tour of duty has officially ended. At the same time we're sending virtually untrained National Guard troops over there like lambs to the slaughter.
Again, just plain wrong in the truest sense of the word. Oh, and don't forget that the whole war was based on a series of lies -- namely the one big WMD lie, much like the Gulf of Tonkin incident that never happend which enabled us to righteously enter Vietnam in the 60's.
But back to Kerry. It was really the second half of the program I watched last night, combined with a dream I had that I just awoke from moments ago -- when I was sort of hanging out with Kerry at some political event, much like I used to converse with Howard Dean during events last year before this year's primaries. The dream made me want to get up and write some words to you about him. (My server was actually down at 5am this morning when I wrote this, hence the discrepancy in the time stamp on this post.)
Kerry was very involved in the Nuclear Freeze campaign in the 80's. He made it the centerpiece of his political platform, and had some political disappointments as a result, due to his seeming like such a lefty. Incredible that stopping the planet from destroying itself through the use of nuclear weapons is seen as a 'left wing' stance. You would think it was in everyone's interest to not blow ourselves up, but go figure. Anyway, he's on the right side of that issue, and, as the story progressed, he seemed to be on the right side of every issue. Now I know that he hasn't come out as strong as some of us would like on some of the issues, but I have a feeling that he will do so when the time is right, when he doesn't have to play it safe so as not to freak out the moderate voters he's trying to attract away from Bush.
All I'm trying to say is that I feel better about Kerry now that I know more about his history. And I don't feel that he's only the lesser of two evils. Admittedly, that's how I've been feeling these last few months, and why I haven't been more vocal on the subject, to be honest. Well, I don't feel that way any more. I feel like Kerry is a good guy and will make a great President. His morals are in the right place, and you can't say that about many politicians these days.
So I'm getting my equipment back up and running over the next few days, and I'll be posting a ton of important stuff to help get the word out about the issues and help you guys make your case to any moderates you know -- perhaps in your family, for starters. I myself have some moderates on the fence that I am trying to gently persuade. We have two important things on our side: (1) the facts, and (2) their lies coming to light. Nobody likes to be lied to, especially by their leaders, and especially about life and death situations, but Bush and Cheney have been lying to us about life and death situations since their first days in office.
Whether they are lying about the reasons for entering the war, or making up stories about Jessica Lynch that never actually happened, in order to give us some false hero to worship (while ignoring the real heroes of this war -- and yes there are a few, like Sergeant Patrick Miller -- whose story will go up later today). The point is they lie. They lie, and kill people for money, and do it all for personal gain, and now we're back into territory that everyone can agree on is just plain wrong.
But I digress -- which I get to do if I want because it's my blog. And I guess I didn't realize how much I've missed blogging and talking to you guys. It's a form of therapy really. And I'm back on therapy, for the time being :-)
Long story short - these next few weeks are a very critical time. It's a time when we need to get every person over 18 over to the polls on November 2.
Which brings me to my last two points. One is that a number of folks in Europe told me that there are a million plus ex-patriots that are mobilizing to vote for Kerry to help him win. It's actually more than a million -- I think a couple million -- but I can't remember the exact number and I like to round down when I'm not sure about a statistic -- so I can't be accused of embellishment. (There's also the Howard Stern vote -- over 8 million people -- this statistic I'm sure of. Howard is an unlikely ally in this fight - certainly not someone I ever saw myself aligning with - but there he is, speaking the truth about Bush and Clear Channel, and mobilizing his army of listeners to do the right thing.)
BUT -- and here's my last point -- as many have brought to my attention. We are on the electorate system. What does this really mean? How do we get to these people? Assuming that the popular vote is under control, how do we secure the electorates? I'm not sure yet. But I'm going to try to find out. Perhaps you can help me -- and I can publish our findings here.
So that's it guys. I just wanted to catch up a bit, and let you know where I've been, and where I'm going -- on several different fronts. I'm actually going to put my music stuff on hold a bit to take care of what's really important over these next few weeks, and I hope you'll do the same. I'm here if you want to talk -- and please let me know if there's anything I can do to help you help the situation.
We're all in this together.
Side note: I blew it as far as signing up as a poll worker. I hadn't considered how leaving for three weeks in September/October would kind of ruin the chances of being a poll worker. So I apologize for failing in that regard, but I hope that those of you that I might have inspired to be poll workers won't be too mad at me about it. I would of done it if I was able, so if you've signed up, I hope you'll follow through on it. (And please let me know about your experiences so I can chronicle them here.)